High Speed Photography Helps Unlock Mystery of How Cats Drink

In 1877, photographer Eadweard Muybridge settled a longstanding debate on whether or not a horse completely leaves the ground at any point during its gallop by taking a single photograph of a horse completely airborne. In the same way, photography was also used recently by a group of researchers to uncover the mystery of how cats drink.

Using high speed cameras, they discovered that cats touch the surface of liquids with their tongues (up to four times per second) before quickly pulling back up, causing a stream of liquid to rise upward. Before gravity pulls the stream back down, the cat closes its mouth around some of it, capturing the liquid. The process is quite different from dogs, which cup the water using their tongues and haul it back into their mouths.

Yay for the usefulness of photography!